Harrisburg man held for trial in child kidnapping, assault case


A Harrisburg man is headed to trial on charges he kidnapped and assaulted an 18-month-old child.

A district judge on Tuesday found enough evidence against 23-year-old Travon Johnson to forward charges regarding the case and two others to county court.

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo’s office said the child’s mother left her daughter with Johnson on the night of March 10 so she could attend a concert. While at the concert, prosecutors say Johnson began sending the mother increasingly hostile text messages.

When the mother came home and tried to pick up her daughter, Johnson would not tell her where the girl was and would not return her, police said.

A police detective testified at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing that while he was interviewing the mother, Johnson called her and threatened her and her daughter. At one point, prosecutors say Johnson threated to “pay drug fiends” to harm the child.

The child was recovered hours later when Johnson gave her to a family member. The girl had numerous bruises on her head, face and ear, police said.

Johnson is charged with kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, concealing the whereabouts of a child, endangering the welfare of children, and terroristic threats.

The second case against Johnson is regarding charges of illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, theft by receiving a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm by a fugitive. Police said when Johnson was arrested in the kidnapping case, he had a gun that had been reported stolen after a burglary.

In the third and final case, Johnson is accused of punching his sister, putting a gun to her head and threatening to kill her on Feb. 3. He’s charged with persons not to possess a firearm, simple assault, and terroristic threats.

Johnson is already awaiting trial on drug and gun charges and a separate case involving simple assault and terroristic threats.

He is in Dauphin County Prison without bail pending his trial.

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